Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Henz History Center
Heinz History Center


Heinz History Center
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New Acquisitions

Valerie McDonald Roberts, Recorder, Allegheny County transferred a collection of deed book entries containing Freedom Papers, Certificates of Freedom, Manumissions and Indentures, dating 1792-1850. These records document the history of slavery and freedom in Western Pennsylvania .

Zerbie D. Swain donated the James Dorsey Family, Papers & Photographs c 1900-1990. Dorsey grew up on the North Side and pursued a career in athletics, later becoming a social worker for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Recreation, where he worked for nearly 50 years. Dorsey married Zerbie Turfley, the daughter of George Turfley a well known African-American physician of the Hill District. The collection includes many photographs and documents related to both the Dorsey and Turfley families.

Carrie Fleming donated the Varsity letters from 1950 and 1951 Pittsburgh Westinghouse High School City League basketball champions and a Niagara University varsity letter and jacket worn by Ed Fleming, the first African American basketball player at Niagara from 1951 to 1955. An All-American in 1955, Fleming was chosen in the 3rd round of the National Basketball Association draft by the Rochester Royals joining high school teammate Maurice Stokes and Pittsburgh Central Catholic grad Jack Twyman on the same team in the same draft.

Althea Skelton donated a T-shirt with a screen-printed logo of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and on the back of the shirt a screen-printed photograph taken during World War II of Pittsburgher Althea Skelton and seven other African American women who worked at Boeing in Seattle, Washington in the war industry. In addition a collection of Boeing employee newsletters, photographs of workers, friends and her husband Navy Seaman Benny Skelton during her life in Seattle in the 1940s.Skelton, a 1943 Pittsburgh Schenley High School graduate, worked at Boeing (1944-45) as a electrical control panel installer building B-17 and B-29 aircraft for the military. In 2004 she and 20 other women were installed as union members some 50 years after being denied that right. The T-shirt was a souvenir from the 2004 IAMAW local 751 program.

1936 Olympic hero John Y. Woodruff donated a recast of his 1936 Olympic gold medal and an autographed photograph of that win. During the Berlin Olympics, Connellsville native John Woodruff, ran away from his competitors in the semifinals of the 800 meters, winning by over 20 yards. Still a novice runner in this international field, Woodruff decided to run in second position in the finals, saving his kick for the end of the race. But his strategy backfired and he found himself boxed in, unable to break from the pack without fouling another runner. He decided to stop, completely, and let all the other runners pass him. Woodruff then moved to the third lane and began his charge for home. With a last burst of speed, he passed the field, took the lead and held it to the end, finishing with a time of 1:52.9 and the gold medal.

Andrea Bullock donated the Gaddie and Truman Family Papers and Photographs.

Morris Bell Gaddie was a graduated of Kentucky State College and worked for Westinghouse Electric Company as a materials handler and then served in the United States Army from September, 1944 to July, 1946. A member of St. James A.M.E. Church Gaddie and his wife Ella Rebecca Truman married on June 27, 1941. The Gaddie and Truman family papers are comprised of a variety of items relating primarily to Morris and Ella Gaddie with a few items relating to James and Mary Truman and a few items relating to friends of the Gaddies named George and Mary Forshay.

Lillie Lesesne a WWII nurse donated the Benjamin Lewis and family photographs, and, Bible dated 1871.  The Bible has been transferred to the Library and the photographs have remained in the Archives.  The Lewis family was an early African American Pittsburgh family.  All of the photographs have been scanned and those files can be found at S:\library archives\archives\Finding Aids\Preliminary Inventories--New Accessions\ 2008.0194 - Lillie Lesesne - Benjamin Lewis family Bible & photographs.

 


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